Printable services for those unable to attend St C

                                

                                        

        

 

               St Clement Church Community Sunday Service

 

Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service commemorating The Baptism of Christ. This service is for you to read at home if you’re unable to worship with us in person at St Clement.

May Christ’s love sustain you always.

Much love to you all,

Rev Di and family xx

 

Let us pray;

Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new: transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory; through Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Hymn: ‘The Sinless One to Jordan Came

 

 

Our prayers of Penitence

In his Baptism, Christ identified himself with sinful humanity.  Through our Baptism, we are united with him, in his new Body, the Church.

Let us therefore acknowledge all that challenges us about our commitment to God:

 

When we have grown tired of searching for truth or seeking God’s will…

Lord, have mercy.

 

When we have strayed from the command to love and serve our neighbour…

Christ, have mercy.

 

When we have offered less than the best in our worship and service of God…

Lord, have mercy.

 

May our Almighty God, who sent his Son into the world to save sinners, bring us his pardon and peace, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Let us pray our Collect for today

Heavenly Father, at the Jordan you revealed Jesus as your Son: may we recognise him as our Lord and know ourselves to be your beloved children; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

 

Readings:

Isaiah 43. 1-7

Acts 8. 14-17

 

Hymn; ‘Hail to the Lord’s Anointed’
 

Gospel Luke 3. 15-17, 21-22

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.) 

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’

 

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptise you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals.

He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’

Now when all the people were baptised, and when Jesus also had been baptised and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove.

And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

(This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)

Reflection

Have you ever had an expectation that very nearly filled your every waking moment? Those of us with children in the family know exactly what I’m talking about if we think back just a few days. The term “filled with expectation” doesn’t come close to describing how a young child awaits the coming of December the 25th.

And I’m sure from own childhood we can remember feelings of eagerness. Maybe it was for Christmas, or perhaps a birthday—not something I eagerly await any longer—but that’s the kind of feeling I’m talking about, the kind of expectation that just won’t leave your head.

 Likewise, “filled with expectation” doesn’t come close to describing the feelings the Jews had as they awaited the coming of the Messiah.

It’s described as ‘anticipation’ in Luke’s 3rd Chapter, but I don’t think we fully understand it, as our English language loses the emotional impact of what Luke intended in the translation from the original Greek text.

We can gain an understanding of what this waiting meant for the Jews though if we consider that when the original text of Isaiah was written—between 700 and 800 years before the birth of Jesus—They’d been told to prepare and get ready for the coming of the Messiah, and then they’d had to stay prepared and ready for over 800 years.

If we think a young child is bouncing off the walls in eager anticipation at the beginning of December—with only three or four weeks to go—imagine what the Jews must have been experiencing after 800 years of staying ready, full of expectation.

And that’s what this Gospel lesson is partly about. It’s about the people being so excited about the expected coming of God into their world, that they mistake the prophet John for the prophesied Christ.

Of course, the difference between the people standing on the banks of the Jordan with John the Baptist then, and us now, is that, with the benefit of hindsight, we know the Messiah is Jesus Christ, and by our own baptism we have been claimed and redeemed by him.

But we should listen again to this Good News that’s so powerful in today’s readings, not just with our ears, but with our heart and soul; From Isaiah;

 

Thus says the LORD,

he who created you, O Jacob,

he who formed you, O Israel:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name, you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the LORD your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.

  

There on the banks of the Jordan, the people were confused. They wondered whether John was the Messiah they had prepared for, waited for, and so eagerly expected. 

But John told them “no,” that he baptised them with water but that there was another coming who was more powerful; one who would baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire.

And when Jesus was baptised; ‘The heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

All those people, all that preparation and expectation, how did they miss the moment? And they must have done so, because Luke doesn’t go on to tell us of an epiphany experience for those present.

I think they missed the moment because it wasn’t what they expected. God surprised them, and came in the most unexpected of ways, not in glory or as a warrior prince on a white charger. But instead as;

A poor baby in a manger.

As a child, the son of Mary, spending his childhood in Joseph’s carpenter shop.

As a just another man stepping into the muddy Jordan to be baptised by a fire-and-brimstone preacher.

As a wandering teacher followed by the outcast.

As a rejected rabbi nailed to a cross.

And God continues to come to us in surprising ways;

In our baptism, we are marked with the cross of Christ forever, through his grace we die with him and we are reborn with him.

In the Holy Eucharist, God comes to us with grace through the bread and the wine, the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And through God’s grace we are justified with him, not by any act of our own, but through the incredibly surprising acts of God, through the faith given to us by the Holy Spirit.

So, our gospel reading might have an Advent message, be prepared and wait, but it also includes an epiphany realisation too.

He is the LORD our God, the Holy One of Israel, our Saviour.

Let us not be like those people on the banks of the Jordan, and miss the moment, let us hear the message loud and clear, and live accordingly.  Amen.

 

Hymn; O Worship the Lord’
 

Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist. 

We believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again. 

We believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world. 

This is the faith of the Church. This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

 

Our Intercessions this week are written by Helen Dunbar

Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is affirmed at his Baptism as God’s beloved Son, and we too are given the Spirit of God, which affirms us as God’s adopted daughters and sons.

Let the Spirit of God in our hearts plead for the Church and for the world.

Great God of all time and space, fill our world with such joy in believing that all Christians overflow with love, compassion, generosity and humility. We pray for those preparing for Baptism and Confirmation; for parents and godparents to be given the grace and perseverance to keep faithfully the promises made. Let us walk your way and live your life.

 

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Dear Lord, as we face the start of 2022 we pray for our clergy for Archbishop Justin, Suffragen Bishop Hugh and at St Clement for our own dear much loved Revd Di, Ken, May and all the family.

Please bless and guide all clergy as they go about their duties.

Lord, we ask for your compassion and blessing on everyone, as they try to find ways of coping with the upheaval of dealing with the new wave of Covid infection which is spreading fast;

give strength and patience to all who now have to return to work and school and those who have great financial worries and feel in despair; for all coping with mental health issues and difficulties in relationships made more difficult by the different way in which we now have to live. Please give them a patient faith in their troubles, and the knowledge that you share their sufferings with them. Bless our homes, our neighbours, families and friends and all whom we love.

 

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Dear God, in these testing times give all who govern and hold positions of power and leadership a sense of justice and may they have courage and conviction to carry out wise decisions. Let the star of justice always shine in the hearts of those who are in authority. We pray that your loving kindness and peace may be known and honoured in every land.

We give thanks for the gift of children in our lives and pray for children who live in difficult circumstances.

 

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

Bless and guide Elizabeth our Queen and bless all the royal family and keep them safe.

We pray for all people suffering with the covid virus; dear Lord lay your hands on them to bring relief and healing, courage for the sick and also not forgetting their relatives who are going through this dark time with them and please help them maintain the inner strength which only you can give.

We bring to you all those we know who are suffering with prolonged illness, debilitating pain and emotional distress; those undergoing surgery and the added stresses they have to deal with at present.  We especially remember Ken and Diane, Daphne and Dave, Liz, Alison and Rob, Ollie, Roger, Margaret, and all those people who have no one to pray for them.

 

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer

 

We remember Poppy Gamble whose third anniversary falls this week and we hold her loving family in our prayers.

Dear Lord, our thoughts and prayers go to Felicity whose brother Andrew has died very suddenly; we also remember her partner Ted who is supporting her through this very difficult time.

 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

 

Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus taught us;

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.   And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Hymn; ‘Oh Jesus I have Promised’

 

 

The Peace

Our Saviour Christ is the Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end.

May the peace of God be always with us.  Amen.

 

Blessing

May Christ the Son of God perfect in us the image of his glory and gladden our hearts with the good news of his kingdom; and may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us, those whom we love, and remain with us always. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 6th January 2022 8:17 AM